grilled chicken

Hot and Fruity Barbecue Chicken

fullsizeoutput_9474.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_946c.jpeg

Around this time of year, when BBQ season is in full gear (at least where I live), you might be in need of a new barbecue sauce.

It gets a little boring to flavor chicken and fish and whatever else you put on the grill the same way over and over.

Besides, with so much fresh, local fruit available, it’s the perfect time for a peach/nectarine/plum based sauce.

So, here one is. It’s a little jazzed up with chili pepper, but is not overly spicy.

Hot and Fruity Barbecue Sauce

  • 4-5 ripe peaches or nectarines, peeled

  • 2-4 ripe plums

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 serrano pepper (or other small chili pepper), deseeded and chopped

  • 1-1/4 cups ketchup

  • 1/3 cup orange or other fruit juice

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup honey

  

Remove the pit from the peaches, chop the flesh and place it in a bowl. Cut the plums in half, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh. Add it to the peaches. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook for another minute. Add the fruit, ketchup, juice, cider vinegar and honey. Stir to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Cook over low-medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened. Let cool. Puree in a food processor. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.

Makes about one quart

 

 

Grilled Chicken Breast with Lemon-Oregano Marinade

I read that Americans now spend about half their food budget in restaurants. Apparently it’s because of everyone’s busy work schedule. After a full day at the office (school, hospital, what have you) Moms and Dads are to tired to cook.

The problem is that restaurant meals, as everyone probably knows, are more fattening, higher in fat and salt than you can cook it at home, not to mention MUCH more expensive.

And then you start to nibble at the bread they put in front of you. Plus butter. Or olive oil, which I understand is healthy but not when you absorb a half cup eating 2 slices of Italian bread. 

And then you have to sit there in the restaurant for too long when all you really want to do is be home with your feet up.

Or it becomes stressful because you have to be more vigilant about your kids because you don’t want them to be “those children,” the ones that bother everyone else in the restaurant. Or you aren’t and then your children ARE “those children” and everyone is glaring at you.

Or if you get take-out, you have to endure the smell of fast food that permeates your car and NEVER goes away even when you spray with Lysol. We once bought Chinese food, put the cartons in the trunk and picked up our daughter from somewhere and when she said she smelled Chinese food my husband more or less told her it was a fantasy. But the vapors had seeped into the back seat of course. They remained there for weeks until the next fast food load took over.

So much easier and healthier to cook something QUICK and EASY at home. Like a grilled chicken breast. 

Yes a grilled chicken breast can be boring. So can a burger, taco, pizza, hot dog and spaghetti with tomato sauce. The thing about grilled chicken breast is you can change the seasoning so it at least tries to be different.

Try this, for example. It takes about 5 minutes to put together, 15 minutes to marinate (or more if you wish — you can let it sit in the marinade for 4 hours) and less than 10 minutes to cook:

Grilled Chicken Breast with Lemon-Oregano Marinade

juice of one large lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, optional

2 cloves garlic, mashed

1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

salt

pinch cayenne pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, lemon peel, garlic, oregano and some salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a dish. Place the chicken in the dish and turn the pieces a few times to coat all sides. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours. Grill or broil the chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Makes 4 servings